Suspect killed after shooting at APD's Air One

An Austin police sniper shot and killed a southwest Austin man after her shot at a police helicopter Saturday night.

Police said around 10:30pm they received a call that 27-year-old Sawyer Flache was walking around the 1800 block of Pax Drive shooting out streetlights.

"Additional calls came in that the man was now in the street, had a rifle in his lap and the caller advised that he had multiple weapons," said Assistant Chief Brian Manley of the Austin Police Department.

Shannon Ford, who lives on Pax Drive, heard the gunshots.

"It was not repetitious. It was kind of sporadic, never POW, POW, POW. It was like one here and then a few minutes later another one," said Ford.

"I think we heard a total of 5 gunshots," Ford added.

Ford lives just two doors down from Flache and said she and her family were scared about what could happen.

"We got our kids out of their rooms, into the living room and heard a couple more gunshots and choppers flying all over the neighborhood. We called 9-1-1 and they said they had a report of gunfire and they had choppers out there trying to find out what's going on," said Ford. 

Police said Flache opened fire again, this time in the direction of the police helicopter.

"We have reported strikes to the rotary blades of the aircraft," said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo.
Then responding officers spotted Flache reloading his rifle between a car and a boat in his driveway.    

"An APD sniper was able to engage the suspect and as the suspect was raising his rifle to once again engage the aircraft, the suspect was shot," said Acevedo.

Police said after Flache was fatally shot they learned he had two children in his home.

"Officers made an immediate entry into the home and did locate two children asleep and unharmed in their beds," said Manley.

"We saw him yesterday on the street with his girls. They were riding their bikes. We said hello. The little girls were talking to us. I mean, it's weird," said Ford. 

Neighbors are still trying to wrap their head around why Flache would do something so bold.

 "He's helped us carry stuff or whatever, you know, nice guy. Never would have expected that," said Ford.

The sniper who shot and killed Flache is on paid administrative leave, per standard protocol. The sniper has been an officer in Austin for about eight years.

No one else was injured.
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